Well Christmas is over, the decorations and tree are all down and Hubby and I have been preparing today for tomorrow as it is New Years Eve and our 3rd Wedding Anniversary. We will be celebrating in style with lobster and I can not wait.
As I have finally sat down to enjoy a cup of tea and a piece of left over Christmas cake, I thought that I would share this recipe with you. I know its to late to make it for Christmas, but it would be great for New Years Eve or even at Easter.
I wasn’t 100% happy with how it turned out, as we did struggle to remove the glass, our fault as we didn’t use a straight glass, whoops! Also I wasn’t sure that the doughnut balls were sweet enough for our liking (even though it is covered in a honey/sugar syrup, we have such a sweet tooth in this house) and so will be looking for another recipe to try and will report back if it is better, but for now I thought I would share this recipe with you, just because, as a family we had such fun making it.
Struffoli is a Neapolitan dish made of deep fried balls of dough about the size of marbles. Crunchy on the outside and light inside, struffoli are mixed with honey and other sweet ingredients. There are many different ways to dress them, but the traditional way is to mix them in honey with sprinkles, cinnamon, and bits of orange rind.
They are served at Christmas, Easter and parties and are sometimes served warm.
I prepared the dough, Olly & Luca helped roll the dough into balls and Hubby deep fried them. When they were cool enough to handle, Hubby & I set the balls around the glass & left it to set over night. It looked so pretty when brought to the table on its stand, covered in gold balls, sugar stars & gold glitter. A real show piece.
So I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas and I wish you all a very happy, healthy and successful baking New Year.
2 cups flour, plus extra for dusting
1 large lemon, zested (about 2 teaspoons)
1/2 large orange, zested (about 2 teaspoons)
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room temperature
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon white wine, such as pinot grigio
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Canola oil, for frying (Sunflower oil can also be used)
1 cup honey
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, toasted (see Cook’s Note)
Vegetable oil cooking spray
Sugar sprinkles, for decoration
Icing sugar, for dusting, optional (I used edible glitter)
For the dough: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together 2 cups of flour, lemon zest, orange zest, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the eggs, wine, and vanilla. Pulse until the mixture forms into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough into 4 equal-sized pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece of dough until 1/4-inch thick. Cut each piece of dough into 1/2-inch wide strips. Cut each strip of pastry into 1/2-inch pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a small ball about the size of a hazelnut. Lightly dredge the dough balls in flour, shaking off any excess.
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour enough oil to fill the pan about a third of the way. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 375 degrees F. (If you don’t have a thermometer a cube of bread will brown in about 3 minutes.). In batches, fry the dough until lightly golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. (The rested and quartered dough can also be rolled on a floured work surface into 1/2-inch thick logs and cut into equal-sized 1/2-inch pieces. The dough pieces can then be rolled into small balls and fried as above).
In a large saucepan, combine the honey, sugar, and lemon juice over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the fried dough and hazelnuts and stir until coated in the honey mixture. Allow the mixture to cool in the pan for 2 minutes.
Spray the outside of a small, straight-sided water glass with vegetable oil cooking spray and place in the center of a round platter. Using a large spoon or damp hands, arrange the struffoli and hazelnuts around the glass to form a wreath shape. Drizzle any remaining honey mixture over the struffoli. Allow to set for 2 hours (can be made 1 day in advance). Decorate with sprinkles and dust with powdered sugar, if using. Remove the glass from the center of the platter and serve.
Cook’s Note: To toast the hazelnuts, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven until lightly toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely before using.
If like me you are uncomfortable with measuring in cups, here is a handy conversion link for you: